Mastering Self-Discipline


Deep down we all know that getting anything meaningful done requires a committment to self-discipline that involves some pain. 

Too many people try to avoid the reality of dealing with self-discipline by…

1. Trying to ignore it by convincing themselves there is an easier way – but that never works
2. Relying on motivation as the sole method used to stay disciplined
3. Depending on others to overcome our weakness and get us where we want to be
4. Turning to temporary fixes like alcohol, drugs, or other self-destructive behavior to get us "over the hump"

These are not long-term, reliable methods for improving our focus and self-discipline, instead they result in a continued denial of what is really required to stick to our guns.


When we set a goal and a plan for ourselves to achieve in our lives, the major obstacle that so often interrupts our progress is pain.

Pain can be emotional in terms of frustration, rejection, embarrassment, anxiety, or a hit to our self confidence, or the pain may be more a combination of physical/emotional such as the hunger pains we experience after refusing to meet a craving on the way to reaching a weight loss or health goal. 

Yet, it is that very pain that is the critical bridge to achieving self-discipline.

Nobody likes pain…and while a good deal of pain can be offset by enhancing the pleasure associated with overcoming that pain, the fact is that we MUST deal with that pain in order to achieve self-discipline. 

The good news is that there are specific measures you can take to deal with the pain so that self-discipline is achievable in your life.

1. Expect it…the very understanding that nothing great comes without the extremely valuable lessons that pain and setbacks give us gradually results in successful people embracing pain on the way to achieving their goals
2. Learning not to build pain bigger than it really is.  For most of us, we think about the pain, we feed it, we grow it and we nurture it…so that it takes on a life of its own allowing pain to completely control our thoughts and therefore our actions.  Instead, use meditation to help bring objective thought back into your life so that your fear becomes manageable rather than an obstacle (Here is a great guide for managing fear, pain and the negative in life – Attracting Greatness – Your Guide To Changing Your Life & Mind)
3. Just do it…taking action quickly and consistently toward your objective feeds self-discipline while inaction, uncertainty and excuses feed procrastination which is the complete opposite to self-discipline. 
4. Be sure of your goals and your plans.  Related to #3 above, if you are uncertain about what you want to achieve or why you want to achieve, you have created a space where progress is impossible and pain is fed.  The more certain you are over your goal and your reasons for achieving your goal, the better you can exercise self-discipline

You can become a self-disciplined person once you learn to deal with the pain that is currently blocking progress.  We have seen many people who were hopeless procrastinators, depressed and near giving up hope completley turn their lives around to become much more disciplined, accomplished, happy people – it all starts with being strong enough to deal with pain.

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Comments on Mastering Self-Discipline Leave a Comment

June 17, 2012

Daniel @ 3:38 am #

Thanks for your article, I think that identifying why we tend to avoid doing important things that we know we should be doing is the pain that you mention. I feel that this will help me stop myself from doing other things and say to myself "I'm not going to let a bit of pain get in my way!".

June 18, 2012

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